Good planners know the delegate experience can’t be forgotten when planning or running events, explains the Sane Event Group director.

One could be forgiven if they thought “enhancing delegate experience” existed on every event checklist. It becomes one of the first, and last, issues discussed with clients and within the delivering team.

There’s a pressure to be innovative and ‘leading edge’ from stakeholders and attendees alike, which usually means a client has expectations beyond relevant or suitable opportunities, and to be frank, outside their budget.

The key to meeting these expectations is by offering a portfolio of options that are relevant to attendee demographics and expectations that can be mixed and matched to meet budgetary constraints.

Interactive, engaging technology is one of the elements now essential at every event. The event industry is fortunate that not only do new, innovative ideas materialise regularly in the marketplace, but existing technology also evolves. For example, event apps were once basic and clunky but now, depending on budget, can incorporate a raft of interactive additions including exhibition maps and delegate games.

Nowadays, most events could, and do, incorporate the following technological additions:

  • Instant, automated communications (SMS & online) throughout the lifecycle of the event which personalises the service and encourages further participation
  • Information exchange kiosks with two-way communication between participants and sponsors, using scanners, tablets and touch screens
  • The portfolio of other enhancements that rely on the group’s demographics, expectations and learning styles before we recommend to invest in them could include:
  • Innovative social media platforms that carries pre, during and post the event, such as a Twitter wall in the registration area to further engage your audience and create a community of followers
  • The exhibition space incorporating IR recognition, QR codes and augmented reality to enhance stakeholders’ visibility and further engage audiences
  • Integrated staging production and set design within the plenary or social functions such as using hologram technology for the key speaker or entertainer
  • Mini TV studio onsite to record attendee comments and interview speakers which can be used for promotional purposes in the following year

One of the most impressive things I have seen recently was at the MEA conference where I was able to experience Displayground’s new interactive media wall (pictured), which quite frankly will set the industry on fire. This huge screen essentially allows you to take a virtual tour around an expo, explore products from sponsors and choose your own information via several mediums. Check it out at www.displayground.com.au.

Matt Mullenwey, founder and CEO of WordPress has stated: “Technology is best when it brings people together.” At Sane Event Group, we couldn’t agree more. Great events continue to provide the catalyst for bringing people together, and technology enhances the experience.

Tick. Outcome achieved.